Reindeer Herders’ Communities of the Siberian Taiga in Changing Social Contexts

Konstantin Klokov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades the number of domestic reindeer stock across indigenous communities in the Siberian taiga have fallen dramatically. While this has been viewed as a crisis, this paper discusses how reindeer herders are adjusting their traditional herding strategies to modern conditions. A methodology of contextualization is used to evaluate five reindeer herders’ communities situated in different regions of Eastern Siberia. Changes in Siberian reindeer herding are analyzed according to three main types of contexts differing as to the period of their formation: a) traditional contexts that pre-existed the Soviet system, b) contexts formed in the Soviet time; and c) contexts created by post-Soviet reforms. Under modern conditions reindeer stock reduction is important relative to the economic context, but the role of reindeer herding in cultural and political contexts is increasing. The slow formation of “buffer” social contexts makes the taiga reindeer herding communities’ condition vulnerable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
JournalSibirica : Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

This article is mainly based on research supported by European
Research Council Advanced Grant, 2012–2017, “Arctic Domus. Humans
and Animals across the North.” The field data on reindeer herders communities
were collected in numerous expeditions to various regions
of the Russian North and Siberia supported by a number of granting


  • adaptive strategy
  • ethnic traditions
  • ethno-cultural context
  • Evenks
  • reindeer husbandry


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